No need to rush out for this...
Posted 6 months ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
If one was to look at the available titles for the PS Vita, the ones that could be counted as a “must own” are few and far between. Rayman Origins, Mortal Kombat, LittleBigPlanet, Lumines, Uncharted, and a handful of others is all that owners of the fancy new piece of tech can brag about...at least until this holiday season. One title that made the list is Gravity Rush, which is why, even though I was a bit late to the party, I was still very excited to finally pop it into my shiny new portable. Although, it was an excitement that began to taper off shortly after the title screen first flashed in front of my eyes...
Let me preface this by letting you know that there are enjoyable elements here. Things begin with Kat, the protagonist for this outing, waking up in an alley with no recollection of who she is. Nearby is a black cat that we soon discover gives her the ability to control gravity (yes, Kat’s power source really is a cat). As she wanders out into the floating city Heksville to try and hit the refresh button on her memories, we find that a greater threat is looming, with a Gravity Storm (and the Nevi monsters that seem to spawn from it) bearing down with apocalyptic intent.
"The concept is just dripping with potential on paper, but once it actually hit my Vita, something seems to have been lost..."
Overlaying the journey is an RPG system that will help boost Kat’s abilities as she works her way through to recollective freedom. Numerous side quests provided by the charming denizens of the town accompany the campaign, and permeate the open-world landscape. This is actually one of the shining points of the game, as the objectives will vary from major plot pushers to minor chores for the townsfolk. Completing these, along with picking up the numerous purple gems scattered about the environment, will give players the opportunity to develop the naive heroine to their tastes. New combat abilities, plus the much needed bump in health and gravity meters, will help as the smackdown-laying Navi grow in numbers and strength.
All that is well and good, but I had one issue that impacted my entire experience to the core: I didn’t care. Don’t get me wrong, Kat is a great character, and her development as the story unfolds is wonderfully done. However, for all the enjoyment I got out of her as my virtual me in this journey, I just couldn’t get myself invested in the narrative. Even the nifty comic book styled cut-scenes weren’t enough to bring this nerd into the fold. As I played through, nothing really hooked me. Navi are plaguing this universe, everything is going topsy-turvy, and the world as these folks know it hangs in the balance......yet I just couldn’t care less.
Maybe it was the gravity mechanic itself. The hook here is Kat’s ability to manipulate gravity. She can float above the ground, shoot across the landscape, carry other objects (and even people) from one point to another, and even perform various acrobatic combat maneuvers that would make even the most experienced Cirque du Soleil performer gasp. But the execution of these abilities felt awkward on the handheld, and even forced at times. The concept is just dripping with potential on paper, but once it actually hit my Vita, something seems to have been lost.
The visuals ended up being a mixed bag for me, and quite possibly contributed to my lack of investment in the game as well. The cell shaping is perfect for what Sony was trying to accomplish here. The art style is equal parts cartoon and whimsical animation. The aforementioned comic book story boards used for the cut scenes carry the narrative forward in a way that maintains the aesthetic, yet, still providing a bit of variance for the player. But, the muted color palate got old really quick, and made the entire experience depressive. Where normally I would applaud the contrast, in this case I think it made it that much more difficult to get immersed into the adventure. Even things that SHOULD be light and airy ended up being much less so because of it.
Gravity Rush is one of those examples where the idea of “reviewer opinion” really strikes home for me. It isn’t a bad game. Just one look at the critical reception it has received over the last few months highlights that. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the same magic that a lot of my peers found, which elevated it to a ‘must have on the PS Vita. Is it worth a look? For sure. There’s a lot here to enjoy, and if the funky gravity mechanics and the flat color pallet doesn’t turn you off, then you’ll find a lot more to enjoy. But is it a system seller? No. I think that title may be reserved for the likes of Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, and the upcoming PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
+ RPG system add another layer to the experience
+ The townsfolk are appropriately quaint
- Gravity mechanics are awkward at best
1 year ago :: Mortal Kombat
1 year ago :: FIFA Soccer
1 year ago :: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
1 year ago :: Rayman Origins
1 year ago :: Dungeon Hunter Alliance
1 year ago :: Asphalt: Injection
1 year ago :: Michael Jackson The Experience HD
1 year ago :: Lumines Electronic Symphony
1 year ago :: Uncharted: Golden Abyss
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Release Date : 2012/06/06
System : PS Vita
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer : SCEJ
Category : Action
ESRB : T
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